Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper serves as Interim Nutrition Director of the Boulder Valley School District; is founder of the Food Family Farming Foundation’s Lunch Box Project; and is author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.

Big fish, little fish

A parable on the National School Lunch Program

Crap: it’s what’s for school lunch. But does it have to be? Not long ago or far away, there was a great and mighty kingdom that was the envy of all other kingdoms in the world. The kingdom was home to two groups of people, the Big People and the Little People. The Big People had many jobs and responsibilities, but foremost among these was their unalterable duty to care for the wellbeing of the Little People above all else. The Little People had only one responsibility, to follow the advice of the Big People so that they, too, could …

Reheat and serve

Obama’s school-lunch chief not much of a reformer

Note: This essay was written with Kate Adamick of Food Systems Solutions LLC and Beth Collins of Lunch Lessons LLC. Supersize me.Photo: bookgrlToday, 30 percent of American children are over-weight or obese. For children born in the year 2000, one out of every three Caucasians and one out of every two African American and Hispanics will contract diabetes in their lifetime, the CDC warns. Recent research has shown that the average age of children with kidney stones is ten, and that food additives and colorings contribute to ADD and ADHD. In short, we’re failing to feed our children well. For …

Like calves to the slaughter

The beef recall shows yet again that the USDA doesn’t protect schoolchildren

The USDA recently took action to force the recall of 143 million pounds of beef dating back two years -- the largest beef recall in our country's history. More than 25 percent of the recalled beef was distributed free of charge through the USDA's commodity food program to about 150 school districts across the nation. Undoubtedly, most of this potentially tainted beef has already been eaten by the 30 million children who participate in the National School Lunch Program every day. Clearly, the USDA is not protecting our children. In essence, the agency slammed the barn door shut after the downer (severely sick) cows had staggered out of the feedlots and into school cafeterias. Why does the USDA fail so miserably at this critical task?

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